well, it's off. the first submission of TUQG, that is, and I'm totally having a spazz about it. I thought I could take this calmly, but no, I feel like throwing up repeatedly. I keep remembering all the horror stories about submissions that I've heard--like the woman who sent a submission in only to ave it returned three DAYS later with the words "NO THANK YOU" scrawled on it in red ink....
When I was younger I had a lot more confidence. I could send submissions off without a second thought, sure that they'd be successful. And none of them ever were (well, except for "Moon Turn the Tides"). Which was a huge blow to my ego--after all I spent the years from 14-18 virtually winning every writing prize I applied for. So it's been a long time since I felt that high of success and I am beginning to think I never will.
Granted, there are various forms of rejection. I was astonished to learn this when my husband took a creative writing class last semeter. because I always got very nice personal letters from editors. But I guess most people get form letters and some people just get pink slips. I guess I should have kept trying.
Problem is, I want it all now. I want to be a bestselling author NOW. I have a hard time with the work involved and part of me says, "If you don;t like it then fuck you." I also started out submitting to big publications, like The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, rather than smaller once that might be willing to take a chance and pay you in copies. Well, that's what I did. I don't want to take small steps. I want the giant step, which is why I published Dragons of the Mind by myself. Unfortunately that was not as big a step as I would have liked, as I have only sold about 35 copies of the dang thing. Everyone who reads it loves it, so why can't I get more people to read it? exposure. I don't have it.
I know that artists do their art for themselves (thanks for reminding me of this, Alex). But there comes a time when you really want it to be out there. And as long as it's out there you don't really care who likes it and who doesn't. But the fact that it's out there enables you to continue. Sometimes writing is the most depressing thing, sitting in a little room all by yourself inventing stuff. You want the audience. I once told a therapist, "Plants don't live to be watered, but if you don;t water them they die." Writing is similar. For me at least, if I don't get that....recognition, someone at least reading it no matter what they think, the urge to write just dries up.
A big thank you to all who encouraged me to do this and who are sending stong vibes to Tor books in New York to take on this project! If you want to do the same I would welcome your participation.
And if it doesn't work, I'll just keep trying until it does.